Serendipity | Memories and Music



Living in the same house for 42 years offers perspectives not so evident to people who move regularly. It certainly offers challenges concerning the need to sort and send rather than keep and stack possessions. But life’s a trade off on many issues, and the friendships and closeness that’s resulted during those years offset disadvantages in keeping too much stuff. I can always purge, but I can’t just create a neighborhood friend because I want one.

Every year at this time I become very nostalgic. Truth be told, sentimentality is big in my life always, but emotional attachments escalate during various months. No one has left the confines of our home to return to a classroom since autumn of 1996, but Back-to-School memories still affect me. I can even recall that nervous anticipation when I was the student. Every autumn, the same sentiment is expressed, “summer went by so fast.” This year especially, although that might be another situation affected by one’s age, and my age can qualify. Better that time moves quickly instead of dragging along.

When my children were growing up, I silently promised not to be that adult who didn’t know kids in our neighborhood. I knew almost all of them, and loved that I did. I’d see them walking back and forth to school or around town, or they’d be playing or visiting at our house. In spite of good intentions, I don’t know neighborhood kids today. Children don’t seem to walk to school like they used to, there are fewer children in the area, and none are coming to my home. We’ve all grown older, the kids I used to know and me, but they moved on, and many of their parents stayed behind like us. I can’t think of any place I’d rather live, but in my sentimental angst, some changes seem sad.

Toughening up and realizing my collections of treasures must be reduced, I begin again to minimize. Prep work involves selecting special music, tasty beverages and a firm resolve to spend more time sorting and less time reminiscing. I was able to do the latter with music last month when my husband and I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. That was nostalgia overload, and no, I wasn’t teary eyed, but was magically transported back to events in my life from many years ago.

A few days after we returned home, the Writer’s Almanac which I read online, reminded all its readers that a “televised dance and music show, popular in Philadelphia, went national, introducing rock and roll to millions of people.” American Bandstand opened its first national broadcast on Aug. 5, 1957 with Jerry Lee Lewis’ song Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. I was too young to recall the show’s debut, but I certainly remember watching teens dancing, the record ratings, “it’s all about the beat,” being entertained by Dick Clark, enjoying musicians as they performed their current songs, and deciding which records I’d like to buy. The show ran for more than 30 years, and Dick Clark never seemed to grow older.

Hmm…maybe rock and roll music has more advantages than we knew. I’ll keep listening to offset emotional blues and to stay young.

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